Medicalisation in public primary mental health care services in Chile

Jorge Luis Crespo Suárez, Raudelio Machin Suárez

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

3 Citas (Scopus)


The integration of mental health services into primary care is a globally acclaimed strategy to close the treatment gap for mental disorders, but it has also been criticised for encouraging the medicalisation of everyday life. In Chile, this strategy has gained support and spread quickly in the last decades, and today, all primary public care centres have incorporated a mental health service. However, although some reports highlight problems that have arisen with integrated primary care, the critical social analysis of its impact on services, teams and communities is scarce. This article aims to analyse how primary public mental healthcare services (PPMHSs) in Chile could be contributing to medicalise life. Health policies, reports, evidence from research on local public health issues and the author’s experience are examined to develop the arguments. It is suggested that issues with the universal health access and integrated primary public care policies and the institutionalised use of standard classifications of mental disorders support the survival of a reductionist biomedical disease model and a trend to psychopathologise life. We conclude that these factors underpin the medicalisation of everyday life in primary public mental healthcare services in Chile. Critical engagement with daily practice is necessary to prevent PPMHSs from disempowering people and communities by providing them with medicalised solutions, instead of generating agency in their everyday problem-solving behaviours.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)309-330
Número de páginas22
PublicaciónSocial Theory and Health
EstadoEn prensa - 1 ene. 2020

Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus

  • Sanidad (ciencias sociales)
  • Sociología y ciencias políticas


Profundice en los temas de investigación de 'Medicalisation in public primary mental health care services in Chile'. En conjunto forman una huella única.

Citar esto